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Literary Meets Luxury

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Ten years on since its initial start date, the 2017 Fairway Galle Literary Festival (FGLF) is back – bigger and better. The Literary Festival looks to showcase participants who inspire and are inspired. Taking place from January 11 – 15 2017, the 2017 FGLF features 110 events including their extremely popular MAS Children’s Programme. 

A variety of discussions, debates, literary awards, panels, tea and poetry readings, cookery demonstrations, gourmet events, performances and live music events for festival goers to enjoy. FGLF introduces for the first time, a complimentary Sinhala programming to highlight the diversity of the Sinhala Literary Arts through discussions, poetry readings, short films and writings in translations amongst others. For the little ones, an Outreach Children’s Programme in Jaffna on the 17th & 18th January 2017 with the aim to develop the literary arts in English in the North and bring the world to the children of Jaffna through some wonderful international children’s authors.

For those looking to be a part of the 2017 FGLF and other events in Galle Fort, there are two villas which should be on your radar. Choice accommodation.

Located right within the atmospheric Galle Fort (where the Literary Festival takes place), Ambassador’s House offers more than just a place to sleep and rest. The spacious historic house has five ensuite bedrooms and is fabulous for families and groups. Rich with illustrious past, Ambassador’s House is gloriously decadent and nostalgic – the luxury villa is bursting with Dutch colonial style, soaring ceilings, arched doorways, double-collonaded verandahs.

No.39 Galle Fort is also located within the walls of Galle Fort. The three-bedroom villa is stately yet cosy, nostalgic yet current. Once you step inside the villa, you will notice that the charm of the past blends beautifully with 21st-century comforts. Lavishly dressed beds and cushioned daybeds, mezzanine TV lounge and iPod dock delightfully complement this heritage home’s wide archway in the living room, a mix of antique and custom-made furniture and the soaring vaulted ceilings.

Staying so close to the heart of the action gives you the advantage to escape the hottest part of the day to relax in your breezy garden, take a quick cooling shower in between literary programmes and invite your new friends home for a cup of freshly-brewed Sri Lankan tea – prepared by your private butler.

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Elite Havens Celebrity Hideaways

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Even the A-listers need a break, sometimes.

In case you didn’t know already, Bali welcomed Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan last month, and Elite Havens had the honour of looking after them during their stays.

Paris and her friend spent two nights at The Layar and another two nights at Villa Adasa, while Lindsay luxuriated at Seseh Beach Villas. They sure know where to enjoy an utmost privacy and sumptuous spaces to unwind in Bali.

THE LAYAR

The Layar’s cool design, hot location and five-star service are definitely for those with strong aesthetic principles seeking original experiences. The Layar features distinguished pitched roofs that slope dramatically to the ground, like the triangular rigging of traditional fishing boats – hence the naturally inspired name (Layar is Indonesian for sails). Each individual villa is set within a private landscaped garden with large swimming pool, and from 1 to 4 spacious bedroom suites. A short stroll is all it takes to be in the heart of Seminyak.

Insider tip: Ask for Paris’ Villa when you book.

VILLA ADASA

Villa Adasa is a glamorous 3-bedroom villa in the middle of action in Seminyak. The influence of traditional Balinese architecture is obvious; take a look at the alang-alang roof, Palimanan stone walls, polished teakwood and open-sided vaulted living pavilion. The villa is perfect for a group of friends who want to be in the heart of action, yet families with children will love the freedom to walk down to the beach in minutes.

Insider tip: Ask the chef to prepare a seafood BBQ for dinner and get the butler to mix classic drinks at the poolside bar counter.

SESEH BEACH VILLAS

The contemporary-styled Seseh Beach Villas are a perfect base for guests to absorb the rural surroundings, either by cycling along country lanes or exploring the beach – imagine a perfect seaside escape and a holiday abode to experience rural Bali setting. A total of 11 bedrooms (which can sleep up to 20 adults and four children), two sizeable swimming pools, multiple living and dining areas and garden pavilions.

Insider tip: Seseh Beach Villa I enjoys undisturbed ocean views.

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Book These Villas in Bali and Exercise in Style

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It is possible to work up a sweat and have an incredible vacation at the same time. If you feel inspired to pick up a new sport or simply be more active after watching the Rio Olympics 2016 games and planning for a holiday in Bali, we have the solution for you.

Doing sports during the holiday can be fun and relaxing, especially when done in lush surroundings and attended with cold drinks and clean towel afterwards by an attentive staff. Well, sporty-minded vacationer or not, book a stay in one of Elite Haven villas on your next trip to Bali and exercise in style.

Tennis

The exclusive Batu Bolong beachfront Arnalaya Beach House is a sumptuous, fully staffed architect-designed estate with an international tennis court and facilities. The former Wimbledon tennis pro Rold Harrison took three years to build this lavish retreat. He was adamant to build a Plexipave tennis court – the same high-tech, all-weather, quick-drying playing surface used for the Australian Open at Melbourne Park. Not only that, he’s even trained some of the staff to be ball boys and hitting partners. Tennis, anyone?

View more Tennis villas.
Swimming

Perched just 30m from the cliff face of the Bukit Peninsula on Bali’s south-west tip, The Istana estate is the ultimate in cliff-edge luxury. A marriage of modern architecture with traditional Indonesian detailing, the villa comprises of four separate guest buildings in addition to the main living pavilion and the master suite. The villa’s main swimming pool is longer than the “short course” Olympic-size pools – 32 metres in length and looks much better too. We assure you it won’t turn green like the Olympic diving pool.

View more villas with unbelievable swimming pools.
Golf

Another top athlete’s retreat is the Villa Mandalay in the Seseh Tanah Lot area. Blessed with endless rice field views out to the glimmering Indian Ocean, out-of-this-world alfresco dining, sunsets and spaces designed for laid-back luxury, book a holiday here and be prepared for excellence. If you are a golf enthusiast, you can easily hop into the villa’s car and ask the driver to drive you to the picturesque (and challenging) world-class Nirwana Bali Golf Course.

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Interiors We Love

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One Waterfall Bay
Kamala, Phuket

Kaba Kaba Estate
Tabanan, Bali

Villa Maya Retreat
Tabanan, Bali

The Orchard House
Seminyak, Bali

Villa Yang
Kamala, Phuket

Villa Wang Nam Jai
Kamala, Phuket

The Layar
Seminyak, Bali

Villa Kalyani
Canggu, Bali

Villa Mana
Canggu, Bali

Baan Surin Sawan
Surin, Phuket

Villa Maridadi
Seseh-Tanah Lot, Bali

Villa Yin
Kamala, Phuket

Canggu Terrace
Canggu, Bali

Villa Joss
Seminyak, Bali

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It’s not just feather pillows and designer robes, don’t you know

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The villa aficionado
villa (n) – a large and luxurious residence
aficionado (n) – a person who is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about an activity, subject, or pastime.

In fact, I see it more as a job. And believe me, like all jobs it has its high and low lights. However, I’m a certain sort of traveller,  the sort that doesn’t consider a hotel room (regardless of pool size 14 stories below, or is that up?) a holiday. Sure, hotel rooms have their place – fine for a business trip, great for a quick shop-a-thon, a clandestine affair if you must, but definitely not what constitutes a holiday.

A holiday in a villa, ah, quelle joie, now we’re talking!

Imagine multimillion dollar properties filled with every conceivable comfort, every luxury that suddenly becomes your (yes, your) very own home for the duration of your stay? The staff, the butlers and the private chef are there for just for you. Your own home, only infinitely better

For a week or more a year live like a star, a sheikh, royalty or a trust fund child, it’s escapism at its ultimate best, it’s also totally affordable and even legal.

Bali is my current taste destination du jour, so after typing in Bali luxury villa rentals Google did its thing, and I found a full to the brim with villas website;  Elite Havens.

This is where the real work part begins as being a villa aficionado by trade, it is now my duty to trial their products. However, before I delve into the individual merits (and not) of certain villas that I’ve stayed in,  I decided as a newcomer to blogging that I would follow some rules.

The rule of lists and points, 10 points in fact.

  1. Price. You may think at a glance renting a villa is miles more expensive than any 5-star luxury hotel, well think again (calculator if you must). A five-bedroom multi-million-dollar villa in the heart of uber trendy Seminyak, Bali, with all the bells and whistles, staff, chefs, drivers, private pool, gardens costs approximately $900 per night. So, that’s only $180 per room p.n. (gargantuan, individually styled room). Go figure?

  2. You’ll be met at the airport,

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